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Pharmaceutical fundings increased to $727 million, representing a 28% increase in amounts funded among a 4% increase in the number of companies funded versus the previous quarter.

Corporate investors were not very active in the sector, with only two known investments. Genzyme Ventures invested an additional $12 million in the fourth round for KaloBios Pharmaceuticals. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals is a vertically integrated therapeutic antibody company that is developing a pipeline of therapeutics.

OncoMed closed its second round at $169 million in the largest financing round of the quarter from a large syndicate including corporate investor Glaxo Smith Kline. OncoMed is developing a portfolio of solid cancer antibodies targeting the pathways critical to cancer stem cells. Proceeds from the funding will support the development of its lead cancer antibody OMP-21M18 and a second antibody through Phase II trials.

Medical Devices

Venture capital funding for medical device companies reversed its previous quarter growth, with 87 companies receiving $555 million during the quarter, a 46% dollar volume decrease.

There were a significant number of second round fundings (Series B), which included the following companies:

Lutonix $20 Million
BaroNova $7.5 Million
Neuroptix $18.5 Million
Sensorin Undisclosed
Cohera Medical $16 Million
OrthoScan $7.5 Million

PixelOptics raised $30 million in order to develop a complete offering of composite lenses including their "electro-active" lens technology. It was the company's third venture capital financing round.

Pioneer Surgical Technology landed $15 million to fund an FDA pivotal study for its NuBac nucleus replacement device. The device is designed to offer a less invasive surgical approach to the thoracolumnbar spine.

Publicly held EnteroMedics (NASDAQ: ETRM) secured a $20 million venture debt round for continued development and commercialization of its therapeutic platform for treating a range of acute and chronic diseases that are mediated by the vagal nerves.

Table 1

Venture Funding Activity – 4th Quarter 2008

Industry Total
% Change
Vs. Prior
Number of
% Change
vs. Prior
Biotechnology $764 Million + 38 % 82 + 32 %
Pharmaceuticals $727 Million + 28 % 49 + 4 %
Medical Devices $555 Million - 46 % 81 - 7 %
Total $2.05 Billion - 5 % 212 + 8 %

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